Skip to Content

How to Keep Tall Plants From Falling Over

This will teach you all about staking house plants, including how to keep tall potted plants from falling over using my big rubber plant as an example.

How I keep tall potted plants from falling over

Hey all, I’m sharing a quick tip article today! I wasn’t going to write a post about this because it didn’t seem post-worthy at the time, but some of my most popular posts are my quick tip posts I thought the same thing about 🙂

If you have a houseplant that is leaning over and you want to fit it, I’m chatting all about staking house plants today. Specifically how to keep tall potted plants from falling over using my large rubber plant as an example.

An overview of staking houseplants

  • Staking helps support tall, top-heavy houseplants.
  • You can use a thick wooden dowel as a sturdy stake for heavy plants like rubber plants.
  • Secure the plant to the stake using materials like garden twine and stretchy green vinyl plant tape helps distribute the plant’s weight evenly.
  • For additional support, you can add extra thinner bamboo stakes.
  • Check and adjust as the plant grows; reposition and add ties or more soil as the plant grows and changes shape.
big beautiful rubber plant

My big beautiful rubber plant

This is hands down one of my favorite plants. I got it many years ago at my favorite local nursery’s annual house plant sale. You know, I try to avoid this nursery because they have an amazing selection, and I can easily empty my wallet in just one visit. Typically I save my visits there for “plant therapy” days and always keep an eye on when they are having good sales.

I had this rubber plant in a large painted ceramic pot up until a few months ago. We haven’t moved the plant at all, but it has really taken off and nearly doubled in size since I brought it home. Needless to say, it needed repotted. I ended up putting it on a large white pot from Ikea to give it some more room to grow.

I love Ikea for large affordable pots that aren’t plastic. It was also getting really top heavy for the smaller pot. I’d hoped repotting it deeper in a larger pot would give it more stability, but I quickly realized it was just top heavy on one side, likely because of reaching toward the window. So I decided to try to even the plant by rotating it and adding some support stakes.

staking house plants
My rubber plant about a year or so after I brought it home

Adding a wooden dowel to stabilize the plant

My rubber plant was also spreading out a lot and taking up a lot of space. Rubber plants can grow very tall. So I’d hoped that staking the plant would maximize vertical space and encourage it to grow taller, not wider.

You can use a store bought stake made using a wide variety of materials: wood, metal, plastic, etc. I decided to use a simple thick wooden dowel from Home Depot. Since the rubber plant’s leaves and branches are quite heavy, I chose a thicker dowel that wouldn’t bend.

When I took it home, I gave it a coat of black spray paint to help it blend in with the plant better. Once the paint was dry, I gently pushed it down into the soil. I didn’t worry too much about spearing the roots as I know they are resilient. (Well, I hoped they were. No problems yet!)

dowel for plant stakes
dowel for plant stakes
dowel for plant stakes

Attaching the plant using plant ties

But staking the plant is just the first step. Now you have to attach the plant to the stake. How you do this depends on what kind of houseplant you’re staking and how hardy it is. You can use vinyl garden tape that stretches as the plant grows; this would be a great approach for a more fragile plant, I think. You can also use thin wire or little twisty ties, which I’ve see on plants like orchids.

I chose to use twine for my rubber plant since the branches I would be securing were so thick. Since I already had garden twine on hand, I used that to gently pull branches up and tie them to the stake. I tied a few branches up and tried to evenly space the ties around the plant and at different spots on the stake so that I didn’t have them all on one side.

Since this moved the branches around at the soil level, I filled in some bare spots and added some more soil. This approach worked very well, and I am really happy with how the plant looks now. It looks so tall!

staking house plants

Adding additional support as necessary

As your plant grows, you may need to add more support to keep tall plants from falling over. My rubber plant eventually needed some more support in addition to the original dowel, which supports the plant’s main thick branch.

In addition to this dowel, I decided to add a few bamboo sticks. I got a pack of these at a local garden store and love them because they’re so natural looking. And I got some green vinyl plant tape (affiliate link) to help secure plants outdoors and decided to use that as well. I love how it blends in really well with the foliage.

bamboo plant stake
rubber plant tape tied around a wooden stake to keep it from falling over
rubber plant tape tied around a wooden stake to keep it from falling over

How gorgeous is this beauty? I hate to pick favorites, but this one is definitely one of my favorites. It’s amazing what a few stakes and string or tape can do to help a plant! I love how tall and healthy it is.

how to keep tall potted plants from falling over
rubber plant tape tied around a wooden stake to keep it from falling over

More staked potted plants

I have a couple of other plants that I’ve staked around the house, too. Monstera deliciosa plants typically need something to climb, so last year when I repotted mine I added a DIY jute moss pole alternative and stuck a few smaller bamboo stakes in, too.

large monstera with a moss pole

I also recently staked my increasingly top-heavy fiddle leaf fig plant because it was leaning really badly. This is a propagation, so I am still trying to get the plant to thicken up its stem. The stake has really helps stabilize the plant over the years as it grows.

fiddle leaf fig propagation
When the plant first started leaning
staked fiddle leaf fig propagation

In conclusion…

And that’s a wrap on my tips for keeping your tall potted plants from toppling over! I hope this article has given you some practical tips you can use. Remember, a little staking goes a long way. Experiment with different techniques until you find what works best for your plants. Happy planting!

Pin this!

collage of plants that says how to keep tall plants upright

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to re-create any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility. Read my full Terms of Use here.